Mayor Alioto-Pier? Mayor Chiu? RCV Poll Has Early Hints

by Larry Bush on 03/18/2011

in Paper Trails

Ranked Choice Voting outcomes tested in a new mayoral poll shows that former supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier moves up as voter’s second and third choices are counted, putting her into strong contention for the November 2011 mayor’s contest.

Board President David Chiu follows only a point or two behind, well within the poll’s 4.3% margin of error.

The poll, by Survey USA, was done exclusively for Channel 5 KPIX-TV and released on March 16. It is based on 544 likely November voters contacted through both landline and cell phone contacts with live operators.

Interim mayor Ed Lee, who has said he will not run, edged slightly into the lead as the first choice of 17 percent of likely voters with Alioto-Pier as the first choice of 12 percent of voters. Chiu comes in at ten percent.

Lee is being encouraged to renege on his commitment not to run by former mayor Willie Brown and Chinatown’s Rose Pak, who see him as the clear favorite of themselves, if not the voters.

With Lee out of the race, about one in five Lee voters names Alioto-Pier as their second choice. About one in four would name Chiu, but his lower first-place total means he still falls one point behind Alioto-Pier.

In rankings by ideology, Lee would have been the clear favorite of moderates, at 23%, outstripping Alioto-Pier’s 14% support from moderates. Lee also ranked first among liberals, but within the margin of error at 13%.

Conservative voters split evenly between Alioto-Pier and State Senator Leland Yee, with 18% for each. David Chiu’s and Dennis Herrera’s support is nearly even between conservatives, moderates and liberals.

As expected, Asian voters ranked the three Asian candidates at the top of their choices, with 22% naming Lee, 16% naming Yee and 12% naming Chiu.

Republicans put Lee and Alioto in first place at 16% and 15%, while Democrats put Lee in first with 18%, above the margin of error.

As KPIX-TV reported, eight months in advance of the election there is no clear front-runner and the top five candidates “are clustered together ranging from 12 percent to eight percent for Alioto-Pier, Chiu, Yee, Herrera and Dufty in that order.

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